Saturday, October 7, 2017

Thankfulness

It's hard to believe, it's not hard to believe, that I made less than a dozen posts in 2017. 2017 has been hard. 2016 seems better in comparison! Since April a number of things have happened - I adopted four budgies, I came down with bronchitis, a family member was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, my bronchitis marched on, one of the adopted budgies passed away while at the vet, my family member successfully had their surgery, one of the other new budgies came down with something that I spent all of August and $800 treating, September was...OK somehow...no September was not OK, one of my co-workers died from a heart attack. October looked like it was going to be OK, but I have spent the first seven days of it with a nasty cold that feels like I have bronchitis all over again!

A lot of this stuff sapped not only my regular energy but my creative energy. It's easy to say "Go with the flow" or "Roll with the punches", but it's not so easy when so many things punch you down. This summer was one continual stream of wake up calls that caused me to re-examine a lot of things in my life. The past few months have reminded me how little control we have. We like to think we're in control, but wow, we sure are not! It seems like the only things I can control are getting out of bed every morning and going to work. Or, as in the case of the last week, not going to work.

Usually I'm not such a downer, but as Thanksgiving comes around this weekend, it's a timely reminder of all the things that I can be thankful for - a safe home, a loving family and husband, a cranky teenage cockatiel, dental benefits and just living in a city that is safe. Gratitude - truly a skill that can be taken for granted. I wish all my friends and readers a lovely Thanksgiving if you are Canadian - and a lovely weekend if you are not.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Woohoo 300 woohoo!

I have not been pulling a disappearing act :-D The last three or so months have been crazy and I was sick for two of them. But I do have a few minutes right now to mention that I celebrated 300 Etsy sales earlier in July. LOL if I had taken my Etsy shop more seriously over the years, I'm sure I would have reached that milestone sooner :-D
My sales went through the roof after converting to digital downloads in 2015. Here's to the next 100! #shoplocalyyc #yycartist #etsyyc #etsyab #calgaryartist #etsyseller #milestones #etsycanada #etsyseller #etsycalgary #calgarycrafters #etsy #etsycanada #handmadeyyc

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Getting ready for the comic expo...

Somehow I forgot to hit the publish button on this post from March!

One of the things on my to-do list for February was "write two blog posts". Ha-hah! February was a really tough month here - it was so grey and blah and I just had too much personal stuff going on to be productive. Fortunately I broke through that and I simply had to because the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo is a month and a half away. My friend Noela Jewelry and I will once again be vending in the Artist Alley. One of the things that I have found difficult was to build a portfolio appropriate for the comic expo - while I like a lot of nerdy stuff and comics and movies, I just wasn't passionate enough about any one thing besides My Little Pony, unicorns and birds.

My husband spoiled me and bought me a Nintendo 3DSXL for Christmas in 2015 so I could play Animal Crossing. It's a cute game that was available on the Game Cube years ago and is still popular. Basically you're the mayor of a little town and you run around doing favours for the animal villagers and pay off your mortgage :-D It's fun to play because you can visit other towns and trade with friends. Last year I did up a whole bunch of sketches for sale of Animal Crossing characters and I was so surprised that they sold well at $2 a pop. I turned some of these sketches into marker and pencil crayon drawings and I'm so happy with them. Here are the four I have done so far - Bob, Ruby, Blaire and Winnie. Stay tuned!

Bob shows off a red snapper!
Finished Ruby! Unfortunate tree placement gives her a broccoli wig :D
ACNL Blaire. Originally she was was Mint, but a green squirrel was a bit much!
And Winnie is done

Friday, February 3, 2017

I have a bird, his name is Muffin...

It's been a while since my grumpy bird's face has graced this blog! I started a little FB page for him that updates on Sundays and Wednesdays. Click the picture to visit and like :-)

Muffin

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Old Photo - Woodland Park Zoo Carousel Giraffe

Winter weather is keeping me and my camera indoors, but it's a great time to stay indoors and look for gems in my 10+ years of photos. There's always one I overlook and this one below is no exception! It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since we went to Seattle. We really enjoy the city - there is something for everyone from arts to shopping to a ferry cruise to nearby islands. And lots of nature too!

We spent a whole day at the Woodland Park Zoo in Ballard. I was really eager to go because the budgie house was new then - an indoor aviary where you can walk in and interact with budgies, cockatiels and other small parrots. I also had my new camera and was eager to try it out. I took so many pictures - and one or two of my husband patiently waiting for me to finish taking pictures at each exhibit. The zoo is huge and the exhibits are really quite lovely for an older zoo. It didn't feel like animal jail!

At the time there were two carousels - the traditional, historic horse one - and a newer one with wild animals. I don't think it is there anymore. I took too many pictures to really process at the time without Lightroom and I was quite pleased that I could touch this one up! It will certainly make an appearance on cards and magnets in 2017. It's also new in my Zazzle shop.

Woodland Park Zoo Carousel

Friday, December 23, 2016

After my last Christmas craft sale, it was nice to do some crafting for myself and even then it wasn't for me - I made a record number of handmade cards. Somehow I was just super organized instead of being super behind. "Late for this year, early for next" was my motto! I even made 45 flat cards for my co-workers and that's the subject of today's blog.

So, so many bells!
Cardmaking is often not a spontaneous thing. Most of the time people see the end product, not the sketches, colour sampling or model. To figure out how I was going to pull off the flat cards, I had to quickly check and see how many bell shapes would fit on a 12x12" sheet of cardstock so my Pazzles could be a pretty good holiday helper! Then I had to find a rubber stamp sentiment that would fit the space as well as make sure that the bell shape would fit the diagonal line background stamp I had in mind. Oh, and I also had to make sure that I had coordinating ink as well!

I really wanted to impress my co-workers with crisp machine drawn text but ran into a snag halfway through. The old style pen tool for my Pazzles only holds certain size pens and out of the millions of pens and markers hanging around the house, none were really in colours that matched! Half of them were machine drawn anyway, so that was a huge time saver.

Bells were made in every colour. I cut and stamped one sheet a night and soon the pile of bells grew! The night before I gave them out, I fired up Netflix and threaded gold metallic floss through each one. Originally I wanted to string Hershey's kisses on each bell, but that quickly turned into a tangled mess!

If you want to deliver holiday cheer to your co-workers next year, here are the supplies I used for 45ish cards:
  • bell SVG /Pazzles cutting file
  • sentiment stamp from Stampin' Up Christmas Pines set
  • diagonal stripe background stamp from Stampin' Up
  • 8 sheets of 12x12" cardstock in green, red, coral, orange, light blue, grey and pink
  • 4 sheets of letter sized white or vanilla paper (12 sentiments to a page)
  • ink pads in green, red, coral, orange, light blue, grey and pink (I use Stampin' Up because it matches with the paper)
Have fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2016 Christmas Craft Fairs

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself because I'm finally ahead of things, not behind. Here's where you can find me this Christmas craft sales season in Calgary. Along with MasterCard and Visa payments, I can now take Interac payments too. Come out and say hi and shop local!

October 22, 10-4pm
St. Brigid Fall Craft Fair
730 Citadel Way NW, Calgary, Alberta T3G 5S6
Facebook for more info
November 11, 11-5pm
Fort Calgary Annual Artisans' Fair
750 9 Ave SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 5E1
Facebook for more info
November 18 and 19
Thorncliffe Greenview Craft Fair
5600 Centre Street North, Calgary, Alberta T2K 0T3
Facebook for more info
December 2 and 3
HHAC Christmas Craft Sale and Tea
10099 Harvest Hills Blvd NW, Calgary, Alberta T3K 4W9
Facebook for more info


If I'm not in your area, check out CalgaryCraftSales.com to find a sale near you!