Holiday Sale!

I sell my painting and photography prints on several sites, but the one I favor most is Fine Art America.  The reason?  I set my markup price.  The site sets their price and I add an amount to it that I want to be paid.  The site takes no cut and I lose no money!  Very few sites offer this and instead take from the artists, as much as 80% of the sale.  Ouch!

Currently I have a discount sale active on Fine Art America.

Use coupon code GRJALA  for 50% off your total purchase.  No minimum amount for the purchase.

My FAA page is located here.

They ship worldwide!  You can have my work printed on shower curtains, various towels, and even yoga mats!

As a show of thanks to everyone who has supported me I’m offer a 60% discount on all purchase of $30 USD or more.  It’s for all listings, old and new!  The sale will run from November 20th to December 20th.

Where you can you take advantage of this fantastic sale?  Right here at my Etsy shop.

New listings will be added as I make new items.  This includes jewelry, quilts, home decor, and original artwork!  The discount will be applied automatically to your cart when you checkout.  No coupon code is required.

Thank you!

blow a kiss with Jasper
Here’s a kiss from me and Jasper!
Advertisements

Some Input from my Readers

I’m finding it difficult to choose what I should make next.  I set up a poll here on my deviantArt page to me choose:.

If you don’t have an account (it’s free) you can instead leave your vote here in a comment.

Options are as follows:

  1. Red iridescent tumbled glass chips, sparkly silver acrylic star beads, acrylic black butterfly beads, black and red pendant – necklace
  2. Gold sunstone beads with seed beads and an aged copper zodiac pendant – choker
  3. Tourmalated quartz beads, green iridescent seed beads, silver pewter dragon pendant – choker
  4. Jade colored cat’s eye beads, blue iridescent seed beads, silver pewter unicorn pendant – choker
  5. Cracked silver glass beads, transparent iridescent black seed beads, tree with a shiny moon pendant – choker
  6. Quilted Rainbow coasters (project I was working on before the fire happened)

I’ll be taking a few days of not making anything to give my hands a good break.  Five days sounds healthy to me.  On November 4th I’ll look at the results of the poll and votes and create in the order of the most to least votes.

Until then I’ll be chilling out like Jasper, the kitty in the photograph.

Thank you!  Just leave a comment here with what you would like to see finished first.

Food for Thought

I’ve finished my commissions.  The only one I need to make will be made when the commissioner’s MedicAlert plaque arrives.  Until then it’s just me playing with pretty colors and working on the endless trade with balthasarcraft A trade we’ve been doing for…six or seven years now.

I’ve just finished a choker* I was working on before I started on commissions.  I have about a dozen pieces planned out, but I’m not about to go diving in because I have other projects to work on as well.  I need to prevent burnout as well as injury.  A very delicate balance.  Thankfully I have quilting and painting to rotate through.

Personally, I feel every artist should be able to do, and enjoy, more than one form of art.  For example, a painter who only creates paintings with oils is likely to deal with artist’s block and burnout unless they can rotate through, oh, making mini-sculptures with clay or Play-Dough, or just doodling for the hell of it.  I had a professor in college who felt that not focusing on one medium meant you’re not a true artist (WTF?), and when she found out I felt differently she decided to use me for a lesson.  Too bad she couldn’t embarrass me seeing as I thought her philosophy was rather absurd.  Oh, and a couple weeks after that shit-show she had “the beast of all artist’s block” and refused to do any teaching for the rest of the semester.  She went on a six month sabbatical to “recover her spirit”.  Folks, play with other mediums.  Doesn’t mean you have to master them.

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

Get some Play-Dough, feel like a child, make a mess, be silly, doesn’t matter.  Rotating through different mediums helps a lot.  I’m a watercolor painter, I color line art with colored pencils, draw portraits, doodle, make jewelry, quilt, and a few other things that just happen to catch my interest.  I’m a master of none, nor do I have any desire to be.  My goal is to ENJOY what I do, not try and show off.  Who am I showing off to?  What am I trying to prove?  No one and nothing.  I have fun.

Do any of you play with more than one medium or do you feel an artist ought to focus on just one thing and master it?

*Small note: the featured image is A Clear Day and is available for purchase here.

Art Collaborations

Art collaborations are one of the most enjoyable activities I’ve participated in.  The first thing that comes to mind is my good friend BalthasarCraft.  We’ve been collaborating for years!  She’s a pendant and earring maker.  I can’t make pendants or earrings (believe me, I’ve tried) and thus turn to her for some help there.

She does have an Etsy shop, but lack of sales has been very discouraging.  She’s opted not to renew listings.  If it’s not too much trouble, swing by her shop and send her a message.  You can see all her work here, but start up a conversation with her on Etsy.  Currently she has a rather large collection of pendants that haven’t sold.  If you’re interested, after visiting her DeviantArt page and seeing her work below, talk about having pendants listed for immediate purchase.  You’ll be delighted by the result!  Don’t be shy about mentioning me.  She’ll get a good kick out of that.

Here are the results of our collaborations!

Many of these are available for purchase in my Etsy shop as well.  With the holidays just around the corner now is a very good time to get the gift shopping out of the way.

Sunset Romance

This piece is made with a pendant of BalthasarCraft’s creation and the necklace is made by me.  She sends me pendants she’d like to have made into pieces for herself, and I in turn make the jewelry.  As payment she gives me random pendants.  It’s an excellent trade that’s been going on for several years now!

Dark Desires

Chokers, necklace, chunky, lightweight, loose, firm, I use the pendant to help direct what will be made.  So far I’ve never failed in my attempts to create excellent jewelry.

It’s always helpful to see the jewelry worn in order to really appreciate the work.  Here she is modeling the pieces I made for her.

Fearless Peacock

Sometimes I keep things for myself.  It’s not often I keep the things I make, but when I do I make certain it’ll be something I love.  I’ve had this piece for several years now, and more often than not I’m asked about where I bought the necklace and who made the pendant.

Collaborations are wonderful when the artists play well together.  You don’t need to be in the same room to create amazing things.  BalthasarCraft and I lived over 2000 miles apart when we started working together.  Now we live a few hundred miles away from one another, and have yet to work in the same room.  Communication is very important, and we have Skype now.  It helps a great deal, especially when she wants to see a work in progress (WIP).

Do any of you work with other artists?  Have you done a collaboration or are contemplating it?  If you’re afraid about asking the other artist(s) just do it.  The worse that can happen is they say no.  I’ve received that answer many times over the past 25 years I’ve been making jewelry.  It’s worth asking because somewhere in that pile of “no”s is a yes.

Today I shipped off some rather hideous and boring pendants I’ve collected, as well as gemstones, to BalthasarCraft to work her magic on.  I’ve also sent a choker she was really digging on my Etsy shop, and I’ll be making at least two chokers and one necklace.  In exchange she’ll be making custom pendants for me using the materials I’ve sent her.  An adventure to be had!

 

Rest and Recovery

So many artists and crafters forget the world around them when they work.  I’m very guilty of this.  In the past I’ve forgotten to eat, sleep, and to give myself time to rest.  This became a serious problem before I tore the ligament in my wrist.  I would cease my work when my husband came out of the bedroom at 4am and tell me to stop and go to bed.  I fell ill because I would forge to eat.

For three years I couldn’t make jewelry, draw, write, and typing was extremely painful.  I could quilt, but only when wearing a brace.  Our previous home had no air conditioning, and in the winter my sewing room would get so cold I could see my breath.  Those conditions of extreme heat and cold were what limited how much I worked.  Oh, yes, and the pain.

After surgery in 2016 it took months for me to regain full use of my wrist.  Only in the past two months have I started making jewelry again.  It’s wonderful!  I do, however, still have pain my wrist and likely always will.  It only shows up if I overwork it though.  That means frequent breaks throughout the day, as well as taking a three day no-creating period every week.  Work for three days, rest for three days.  I also cease my work at 7pm to allow time for dinner, take my medications, and then prepare for sleep.  I’m usually a sleep before 10pm due to the side effects of my seizure medication.

It’s been wonderful working like a person instead of getting so lost I require my husband to pull me up into reality again.

To my fellow artists, writers, and crafters: set up an alarm system on your phone that will tell you when to stop.  In fact, set up SEVERAL alarms.  Stop at least every four to six hours to eat and take care of yourself.  I know many you are night-owls, but do remember to sleep.  Ironically enough I’m not a night person at all.  I do my best work from 8am to 4pm, and am usually up by 6:30am.  My cats are an excellent alarm clock.  The morning “feed me” combined with a full night’s sleep is a good mix.  It’d be nice to sleep in to 8am sometimes, but alas I’m not tired enough to go back to sleep.

When is your best time to work?  Do you take breaks?  How often do you give yourself time to rest and recover?

P.S. The kitty in the picture is my alarm clock.  Her name is Cacoa (Kay-Koh) and I love her to bits.

Finished Commissions

Yesterday I finished two commissions and now have those checked off my list.  Yay!

The rainbow choker is for a customer on Simbi and the chakra anklet is for a customer on deviantArt.  The anklet shipped this afternoon.  I’ll ship the choker once I receive payment.

If you’re interested in commissioning me for jewelry now is a great time.  We’re less than three months away from the insanity of the holiday season.  I’ve found it’s much better to get the gift shopping (or making) out of the way early on.  It makes for a far less stressful holiday season.  Then again there are those who enjoy combat shopping…

Through the month of October I’ll have free domestic shipping available in my Etsy shop on orders of $50 or more.  It’s not a difficult number to reach, and you’ll save money with the free shipping.  This deal also applies to commissions!

I don’t offer gift wrapping due to being terrible at it.  My family has made it an annual joke, referring to my gift wrapping skills.  Many years ago when I worked in retail (I can no longer “work” due to being disabled) I worked at a large toy store during the peak of holiday shopping.  My manager put me at the gift wrapping table because apparently it’s a woman’s job.  Not even an hour later they put me back at the register.  Needless to say a few people found it hilarious.

Besides the commissions I’ve also made a few low-budget items.  I can make custom versions of these.  I make them using scraps from larger pieces, and thus end up wasting a lot less material.  If you’re interested head over to my shop.  There’s a button on the left side (you may have to scroll a bit) that says “Request Custom Order”.

Typically I finish these in less than an hour.  These and keychain decorations are often the free gift I include with purchases.  At least, that is if I have any of these little things left of course.

I’ll be taking a break today and will continue making jewelry tomorrow.  I’ve found working on these every other day works best for my wrist.  Plus the cats feel today is a good day for snuggling.  It’s been getting cold here, and we had our first hard frost overnight.  We’re expecting colder temperatures tonight.

 

Yay for items selling!

This week has been eventful, but the good kind.

We got our final payment from our fire claims adjuster.  It’s not nearly enough money to really make a punch in the debt we’ve acquired due to the house fire, but it’s something.  I wish the adjuster hadn’t given us a wildly large number for what we may receive.  That was rather heartbreaking.

But two items selling has improved the mood in our home.

I Dream of Elephants sold earlier this week and has since arrived at its destination.  I await the review on Etsy.

I squealed and did a happy dance when I saw it had been purchased.  My husband thinks it’s rather hilarious that I refer to the sale as an “adoption”.

Dancing in the Moonlight sold yesterday and was shipped off today.

DSCN3872

I don’t know if there enough words to describe how thrilled I was to see this had sold.  It’s so encouraging to see my beautiful creations sell so well and feels like a sort of confirmation that it’s all worth the work.  I hope the buyer loves the choker as much I loved making it.

You can purchase my work from my Etsy shop.  From October 1st to October 31st shipping will be free on orders $50 or more.

We’re extremely tight on money due to the house fire.  We had to seek a new home because the previous one was uninhabitable, and that meant making a safety deposit and paying first month’s rent right away.  We also had to replace all our food as well as several things that were lost in the fire.  The money I make from my sales goes directly to the credit card to help pay it off.

I’m accepting jewelry commissions right now, and have more information here for you to check out regarding them.  Feel free to share this link with others.  I can take up to ten commissions at a time, but expect a bit of a wait if I’m working on more than five at a time.  I can usually finish a piece in one day, but right now I’m working one day on, one day off, etc.  It keeps me from hurting my wrist.

Contact me if you’re serious about commissioning me.