Sunday, December 31, 2017

Whoopie! 400 Etsy Sales!

I am so proud to announce that I hit 400 early sales not too long ago. It's funny how these milestones creep up on you! A few years ago I didn't think I would be celebrating this milestone, let alone 100 sales - but I kept trying new things and finding the products that stick. Thank you to everyone who has supported my art and my little endeavour over the year! Best wishes for 2018!
Woohoo! I am so thrilled to close out the new year with over 400 sales. Thank you to all who support my art and endeavours :)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Chickadee dee dee Christmas Ornaments

Brrrr! One of the things I love about winter is how everything slows down - and during this epic cold snap, I'm happy that I don't have anywhere else to be but in my office and catching up on the computer. It's such a rare opportunity to sit and get stuff done! I usually sell cards and magnets at Christmas craft sales here in Calgary. Even though I make Christmas cards, hardly any of them sell. Knowing this, I decided to try Christmas ornaments, which I brainstormed over the summer. Actually, I brainstorm about this every year, but usually at Christmas time, and then I forget by next Christmas :-D This past summer, I sat down and prototyped a cardinal Christmas ornament. It required a lot of steps, but I made 50 of them to give out to co-workers, where they were warmly received. A lot of us take for granted the amount of thought and design that goes into product development. The end result looks effortless, but I can sure you the road to that effortless look is a lot of wadded up paper balls, torn in half prototypes and sighs. However, making the cardinal ornament led the way to a lot of success for the chickadee ornament. I made 12, sold 9, kept one for myself and two as gifts. Here's how they turned out:
A chickadee for your tree!
Each one is handmade, although I had a little technological help! Here's a rundown:
  • I drew and coloured the chickadee, then scanned and reduced it on the computer
  • I designed a blue circle fill in CorelDraw and the greeting on the back
  • I die cut the circles and affixed them together
  • Then I die cut and hand brushed the pine branches with embossing paste, white paint and a glitter brush. I really need to figure out how to make this step better!
  • I printed out the cardinals on a laser printer and cut one out by hand. For the cardinals, I printed them on cardstock and made a mask so that my Pazzles could do the job - but the glossy paper would not have worked well in the Pazzles
  • I ended up making the ribbons by hand because I could not find small ribbons the right size
  • Then I assembled all the pieces and strung it on a gold thread
Whew! I plan on making more next year, along with the cardinals and maybe a third winter bird - we'll see how productive I am! If you want the darling little chickadee for your personal crafts or projects, you can download the clip art which comes with a PDF of chickadees to get you started!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cardinal Christmas Card Printable

We had our first major snowfall of the year here in Canadaland this weekend and no craft sales booked. It's such a rare moment for me to be able to sit down in front of my computer and show off about my new Christmas card printable. It's based on a real paper design that I made for this year's Christmas card - more on that later! As an international seller, it is often difficult for me to get physical items out the door - the standard delivery window for international is 21 days. With printables, you can print when you want, which is a very win win solution. The cards are compatible with Avery or Word quarter fold card templates, so you can personalize your cards on the inside and print on the other.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


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 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 :-)


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